Nebraska was hit hard with some offseason attrition Wednesday afternoon when two members of coach Amy Williams’ frontcourt rotation announced they were leaving Nebraska.
Junior-to-be forward Ashtyn Veerbeek has left the program, electing to transfer from Nebraska to Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa. Shortly before Veerbeek’s move was announced, forward Kayla Mershon, also from Veerbeek’s class, announced she was transferring to Minnesota.
Join us in welcoming out newest Defender, Ashtyn Verbeek!
University of Nebraska- Lincoln
— Dordt University Women's Basketball (@DordtWBB) March 25, 2020
Veerbeek started 29 of Nebraska’s 30 games last season. As a freshman, she served as Kate Cain’s primary backup at center, but after an offseason spent working on rounding out her game, coach Amy Williams rewarded Veerbeek with a starting spot alongside Cain.
The 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa, averaged 7.4 points and 4.3 rebounds over the course of the season. She shot 44.1% from the field, including 34.8% from 3-point range and 77.8% from the free throw line.
"I chose to transfer to Dordt University because I wanted to be a part of a great faith-centered community and play in front of all my family and friends in my hometown," said Veerbeek in a press release from Dordt.
Veerbeek’s mother, Tammi, coaches volleyball at Western Christian High School in Iowa, 14 minutes away from Dordt.
“She always tells me if she could have a dream job it would be to find a job around here and coach for Western Christian volleyball,” Tammi told Hail Varsity earlier in the 2019-20 season. “She will say to me, ‘You are not quitting. You are not quitting and you will [coach] until I’m ready to come back and take it.’
As for Mershon, Nebraska is losing another forward with considerable playing experience. As a freshman, Mershon took Maddie Simon’s starting job alongside Cain for the final 14 games of the 2018-19 campaign.
She went back to the bench last season, and started to see her minutes cut into by the emergence of freshman forward Issie Bourne. As a sophomore, Mershon averaged 1.6 points and 2.5 rebounds while playing in all 30 games. She made one start, against Manhattan on Dec. 22, in place of an injured Ashtyn Veerbeek.
Mershon is from Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Nebraska will return Cain, a soon-to-be senior and Bourne as the only true post players on the roster. Taylor Kissinger and Leigh's Brown, though both listed as forwards, are at their best on the wing.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.